“The Man’s World” and Workplace Sexual Harassment of Women go hand in hand!
James Brown, the renowned singer has sung – “This is a man’s world. But it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.”
Going into a generic workplace, you will see men filling up most of the office space. Additionally, you will see most of the higher posts also cozily occupied by them. This is indeed a man’s world. I wonder if there is space for women? For a woman looking to be financially independent or a single-working mother? Perhaps not. Harassment of women, predominantly by men, in the work-place hinders their progress and empowerment. After all, it is a “man’s world.”
What is “harassment”?
The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines “harassment” as “unwelcome conduct… based on race, colour, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.” Consequently, harassment is a broad term. Thus, “harassment” entails several types of behaviour that create an abusive and unhealthy atmosphere in the work-place.
Types of harassment prevalent at work
Any form of behaviour discriminating against or mocking the following:
- Race, Religion or Nationality
- Sexual Orientation
- Political Beliefs
- Gender Identification
Sexual Harassment of Women
Sexual Harassment is a form of harassment most prevalent against women in the work-place. According to Cosmopolitan, one in three women face sexual harassment in the work-place. The American Association of University Women defines workplace sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favor, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”
Types of Sexual Harassment against women
Sexual Harassment is more than inappropriate physical behavior. Of course, inappropriate touches and close proximity constitute as sexual harassment. But with technological advancement, sexual harassment has morphed into various forms. Various forms of social media and modes of virtual communication serve as mediums of Sexual Harassment. 45% of women claim to have received inappropriate emails or text messages.
Sexual Harassment can take place merely with the exchange of words. 81% of women have faced Sexual Harassment in the verbal form. Finally, 44% women have experienced inappropriate physical contact.
Who are the perpetrators?
75% of women have faced sexual harassment by a male co-worker. The appalling statistic is strongly suggestive of “the man’s world.” Perhaps harassment is a means to demoralize a woman from entering this world. However, this world isn’t solely comprised of co-workers! 49% of women claim to have experienced sexual harassment from male customers and clients.
Evidently, women typically face sexual harassment from men. However, James Brown’s famous lines cannot be forgotten. “This is a man’s world. But it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.” 10% of women say they have been harassed by a female coworker. Truly, what is a man’s world, without women?
About the Author
Ishika is a College of Social Studies major at Wesleyan University. She is interested in women’s rights specifically in the developing world and currently works with refugees in Connecticut, USA. An avid reader, Ishika enjoys works of intersectional feminists and is the proud human of a pug named Donut.